The first day of spring has come and gone, and while the warm weather still seems far in the future, we are starting see small signs of life in the yard and gardens. Take advantage of milder days to tackle some of the outdoor maintenance, so you are ready for long summer days enjoying your home and outdoor living spaces. It’s also important to look for any damage that may have occurred with winter storms, and get that repaired as soon as possible, to prevent costly repair bills

Mosquito prevention

Mosquitoes used to be just a nuisance. However, now they actually post serious risk of illness, including West Nile and the Zika virus. Mosquitoes breed in standing, still water. Eliminate sources of standing water, and the pesky bugs will have to look elsewhere to lay their eggs. If you have a small pond or rain barrel in your yard, there are safe products you can purchase that will make the water inhospitable to host eggs.

Window shine

Spring is a great time to make your windows shine, and it will really increase curb appeal. Wash windows inside and out. You can use a hose sprayer to clean hard to reach windows on the outside.

Gutters and downspouts

This is an ongoing task, and spring/fall are good times to tackle it. You don’t want anything clogging your downspouts for a number of reasons. Rotting leaves and twigs can lead to unsightly vegetation growth in your downspout, and could attract bugs. The decaying matter can also prevent your gutters and downspouts from functioning property. You risk water damage to your roof if the spring rains are not able to flow freely away from your home.

Make your fireplace sparkle

If your home has a wood burning fireplace, spring is a great time to remove the remains of your cozy winter fires. Shovel out any wood chunks and ash, and completely clean the fireplace surround. Let a professional handle cleaning the chimney, though.

Check your irrigation system

If you have a sprinkler system, you want to make sure everything is working properly before you start using it regularly. This will save you money on wasted water, and prevent damage to your home.

  • Run the system and walk the property looking for broken or damaged sprinkler heads.
  • Look for misaligned heads that might be spraying water onto your house or into the street. Big water waster! Spraying water on the house could also cause water damage over time. Readjust the heads and check again.

If you don’t know how to do this, schedule a professional to inspect and repair your system. It will save you money in the long run.

Repair screens

As warmer weather rolls through Northern Virginia, you’ll want to be ready to catch the spring breezes and air out the stale winter air from your home. However, if your screens have been damaged by weather or neglect, you’ll be inviting in more that a nice breeze. The local insect population will appreciate the open invitation!

Look for tears or holes in your window screens (don’t forget storm doors, too!). Even the smallest hole can leave enough room unwanted creepy crawlies to get in. You can get a patch kit or material to replace the screen at your local home improvement store.

Inspect the roof

Harsh winter weather can do a lot of damage to shingles. You can do a visual inspection of your roof without even climbing a ladder. Just use a pair of binocular and look closely for any missing or damaged shingles, or anything else that looks amiss. You’ll want to fix any issues before the spring rains start, so if you notice damage, call a roofer to do a closer inspection.

Maintain wood exterior

Even if you have vinyl siding or a brick exterior, you may have trim around windows, shutters, or other exposed wood that needs to be regular painting. Fresh paint not only looks good and increases curb appeal, it also protects the wood from the elements.

If you have other outdoor wood features, such as a deck, fence, pergola, or children’s playset, it’s also a good time to clean seal the wood with a wood sealer. This will protect your investment from moisture and help you enjoy it longer.

HVAC service

HVAC professional recommend having your system inspected and cleaned twice a year, once in the fall before you start running your heat, and in the spring, before you turn on the air conditioning. This helps ensure that your system is running properly and efficiently, and will catch any issues before more expensive damage is done.

We are here to help! We maintain a list of preferred contractors that will do good work at a reasonable price. As always, if you or someone you know need help selling or finding a dream home in 2018, please do not hesitate to call us. Contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or jason@jasonandbonnie.com.